Religion has in the past played an integral part of my life and has significantly impacted on how my sexuality and sexual orientation has evolved. Religion (Christianity and Islam) has impacted on who I am and how I continue to live my life to a certain degree; and the choices that I have made, and continue to make.
In my opinion, the West African culture, (Nigerian culture to be specific to me) intertwines religion, faith and spirituality (be it Christianity or Islam or other traditional worshipping) with being ethical and moral. Hence, due to my religious upbringing (my dad is a Christian and my mum is a Muslim), I would suggest that this made me get married to a female and have a family; and initially suppress and fight against who I truly am.
Christianity and Islam do this by advocating (or preaching) various fundamental dogmas; and I would argue these dogmas have instilled in me a form of fear through emotional and psychological blackmail. I did not think for myself and I was once a gullible and weak person in search of something to cope with my broken home life situation.
Islam suggests that human instincts can be subjected to acts of will; and sexuality is a choice of identity, which follows choices of action and choices of what to have sexual fantasies about. Islam suggests that human beings are especially able to control their thoughts, entertaining some and dismissing others. I tried this for a significant period of my life, but it did not work for me.
The bible was my main standard on how to live my life and worshiping with fellow Christians was my surrogate family. I therefore used religion (Christianity) as my crutch and I blindly and irrationally followed this particular belief system despite the psychological damage it was doing to me. I was a hypocrite and bigot; and I was living a lie.
Even just by writing this piece, I feel as if I am doing something blasphemous. This is how deep seeded religion permeates me, despite me now believing that I have my own take on religion, faith and spirituality; and God (the alpha, omega and omnipotent Supreme Being) loves me warts and all.
As a Christian, the Bible is supposed to be the final authority for both my belief and behaviour and I had been indoctrinated through the teachings of the bible that adultery is a sin. Adultery in the natural sense is sexual intercourse of a married person with someone other than his or her own spouse. It is condemned in both the Old and New Testaments of the bible (Exodus 20:14; I Cor. 6:9, 10). In the bible, Christ forbids dwelling upon the thoughts, the free play of one’s imagination that leads to adultery (Matthew 5:28).
Yet despite knowing all the above, the paradox is that I continue to be adulterous to this day; despite as a Christian, I know that this is a sin. I commit the act of fornication – the illicit sex acts of unmarried persons which are forbidden in the bible (I Corinthians 5:1; 6:13, 18; Ephesians 5:3); and to make matters worse, I do this with the same gender. In the Bible it is written, “Thou shall not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). “If a man also lies with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (Leviticus 20:13)”.
As a Christian, I am a sinner because I have a long-standing female partner to whom I am married, but I am a homosexual that needs the fulfilment of sex with my fellow-man. In the bible, homosexuality is condemned. The Apostle Paul, believed to be writing by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, declared that homosexuals “shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:9; 10).
Yet ethically and morally, in many societies, despite peoples’ religion, faith and spirituality, being a homosexual would be deemed immoral; despite it being legal in the western world, where I currently reside.
I have concluded that we can all be moral, pious and self-righteous, such that we look down at others and put fear into those who don’t adhere to a particular ideological religion, faith, societal or spiritual standard. However, ultimately I must be the best person that I can be; and remain sane.
I have re-invented my personal ethics and values, and created (in my opinion) a responsible lifestyle and foster relationships that serve my own needs, even though my personal ethics do not (or may not) fit with mainstream society or religious rules of personal conduct.
I believe that I should not be wicked and evil to others. I strive not to lie, cheat with the intention of being cruel, malicious and deliberately wicked to others; especially those that I self-determine as my family.
I have embraced elements of religions and traditional faiths to develop my own self-determined spirituality which enables me to live a productive and fulfilled life.
On a more humorous note, I want my current wife and a same gender partner. I will settle for two wives! One male and one female. I have therefore embraced an element of Islam and African traditional faith, which allows a man to have four wives (Islām); if you can treat them equally, or be polygamous (African Tradition).
I believe that ultimately, if there is a supreme being (God) and there is a judgment day, God will be the Judge and Jury – and will judge me according to the deeds of my hands!
Copyright © 2011 Paradox.